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‘New Nile Bridge a symbol of Uganda-Japan friendship’

The new Jinja Bridge will be completed mid this year. PHOTO UNRA

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Ambassador Patrick Mugoya has hailed Japan’s cooperation with Uganda, which he says is best shown in Jinja with the partnership building of the magnificent new Jinja bridge.

Mugoya, who is the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA),  stressed that resource mobilization, increase of Ugandan content, technical skills and knowledge transfer are only possible through the fostering of close bilateral relations – as shown with the case of Japan.

He recalled that the The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through which project funds are accessed, used to operate from an office in Nairobi but due to top and friendly diplomatic engagement, had opened up an office in Uganda.

Ambassador Mugoya said this Thursday, on a visit to the construction site of the new Nile Bridge Project in Jinja, that was organised by the Embassy of the Republic of Japan. The main purpose of the visit to the bridge was to assess ongoing projects and programs between the two countries.

Director for Regional and International Economic Cooperation, Ambassador Isaac Sebulime said that MoFA is currently engaged in finding investments that offer value for money under the Commercial Diplomacy Initiative.

He said that the MoFA considers the Bridge as one of the great milestones in Japan-Uganda Cooperation because of its contribution to social-economic development.

“The new bridge will ensure that the cost of doing business in Uganda is lowered both through higher speed limits which ensure perishables are transported faster and its aesthetic value which boost external tourism but more importantly, domestic tourism which is more economically dependable.

The team was received at the site in Mpumudde by the Deputy Resident Engineer, Prof. Jackson A. Mwakali, the site engineer from UNRA, Morris Odoch, the contractors The Zenitaka Corporation and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Corp.

Prof. Mwakali said that the bridge, will contribute to regional economic growth, ensure safety of the Northern Corridor Route Transportation system and enhance tourism.

“Besides being 525m long,” said Prof. Mwakali, “the bridge will have a Pocket Park for better viewing by tourists and a Road resting station (Michino-Eki) will be provided with a structure containing a mini-supermarket, restaurant, room for a bridge maintenance team, security house and an exhibition center”

 

Team assessing ongoing projects and the bridge. PHOTOS MOFA

Ambassador Arthur Kafeero, Ag. Director of Regional and Political cooperation explained how through forging stronger diplomatic ties using its diplomatic representatives, the MoFA paves the way for stronger economic cooperation. “A bridge whose design and structural lifespan is 120 years symbolizes another 120 years of friendship,” he said

The team was given a tour of the bridge construction site by Eng. Morris Odrua Odoch, UNRA bridge and structures engineer, including visits to the pylon structures, abutment structures and box girder. They noted with pleasure that it is only a few weeks to near completion.

They were shown sites of additional auxiliary works like a tourist rest center (Michino-eki), bridge illumination works and relocation works of public utilities.

 

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